Friday, March 18, 2011

Rubbery Red Jelly

Okay heres my question.

What did I know about diabetes before Reuben was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on 30th/31st May 2010 ?- (aged 8 months).

In the last year Ive been inducted into a fraternity that requires you learn SO MUCH about something you never gave much thought to prior.

Heres a list (digging into the deep dark recesses of my grey matter, blowing out dust, knocking out cobwebs and de-housing spiders as I go) -

My experiences with diabetes prior to R being diagnosed....


My brother was asthmatic as a child and in hospital to lose weight (to help his asthma) he was on a 'diabetic diet'.   This was sugar free rubbery red jelly. I guessed diabetes sucked  a$$, even then.

I read junior fiction books and lots of them.  You could say I was prolific.   One I recall was the baby sitters club.    The book was 'The Truth about Stacey'.    She was diabetic.

"Many of them, including her best friend, Laine, ditched her after she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her parents aren't much help; they keep dragging her from doctor to doctor looking for a miracle cure.  All Stacey wants to do is manage her condition on her own terms."

Another downer!

I saw a TV program, Supernanny I beleive about a family managing their sons diabetes badly.  I remember them scratching out carb counts and doing a play to show the other kids diabetes can be managed.

So-so.  Not much reaction Im sure.  I do remember watching it however.

I worked with a lady whose husband was type 2.   She stressed one morning that her hubby was away on a fishing trip with beer and bad food and no glucose meter.   I had no idea what his BGL was meant to be. I briefly asked her about it.

I belonged to a parenting message board where some mothers had gestational diabetes and required injections.

Now Im really stretching it...

But I remember my husband telling me he had seen an episode of a REHAB style show with a diabetic protagonist.

There thats it. 

I guess Im trying to talk-myself-into-not-being-hard-on-those-on-the-outer-circle.    They dont 'get' diabetes because they either havent been exposed to it, or have no imminent need to know about it.  Theres not heaps of education or awareness out there regarding type 1.  Or...they just dont care and are happy in their ignorance, misconceptions and fear.   I was definately in the 'no imminent need to know' category.     What about you?  


  1. I didn't know anything about diabetes either. I feel pretty much the same way as you. I was stretching my own brain trying to recall what I ever knew- but I don't think it was anything!
    I don't expect other people to know much about diabetes, since I didn't. After all, you don't really think about it unless you're forced to deal with it. After all, I know there's a lot of other parents dealing with things that I know nothing about, and I wouldn't think they would be expecting me to go get educated on down syndrome; or autism; or whatever. You just do your best to understand.

  2. Well, I was a PICU/SICU nurse and to be honest, I HAD NO IDEA what the diagnosis would mean for our daily life. So, I totally can relate.

    I don't get angry at people for not getting it. I do get frustrated with the media when it is poorly represented or portrayed...that is perpetuating the myths that are already ingrained in so many.

    GREAT POST...and I LOVE reading you as well. I can always count on a good laugh Jules.

  3. I had two type 1 friends growing up (one was my best friend in jr. high)... my best friend didn't take good care of herself though and was always passing out at school because she never ate (except for chocolate bars and diet coke).

    I also read the babysitter club books and didn;t remember until you mentioned it that Stacy had diabetes. Weird!

  4. I was one of those moms who thought I knew about diabetes because my father and both of his parents had Type 2. When the doctor told me Andy's BGL was high, I thought, "Oh, he's diabetic, it's not that bad, at least it's manageable"! RIGHT. I have since learned more about diabetes and rare types of diabetes than I ever wanted to know in the last 6 years. Until we were told about the possibility of Neonatal Diabetes, I was under the assumption, like most of the world, that there were only 3 types, I, II, and gestational. Boy was I wrong. There is so much more out there, but like you said, you can't be mad at people for not understanding. They only know what the media puts out there. At least we can spread awareness as we learn little bit by little bit.

  5. Like Reyna, I'm a RN and had NO CLUE how intricate the details are to managing this beast. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times...nursing school NEVER prepared me for this!